Negotiating the buying of a home is complicated enough without adding in emotions and uncomfortable situations. To make sure you keep your transaction as simple as possible so you can get the house of your dreams, be sure NOT to say any of the following things to the seller of the home:
“I have to have this home!”
You’ve heard of a poker face and you certainly need to use it when you’re buying a home. Letting a seller know that you’d do anything to have their home makes them less willing to negotiate. If you’ve fallen in love with a home, share that privately with your realtor and then try to remain as objective as possible as you negotiate the selling price of your dream home.
“This house is so ugly.”
You may have plans to gut the home as soon as you finalize the paperwork, but the sellers don’t need to know that. Oftentimes homes that need the most work hold the most memories for the sellers who may have lived there for years. Advertising the plans you have for the house may turn them off from your offer.
“I would pay up to X amount.”
Don’t advertise your budget to anyone but your realtor. Just because you can pay a certain amount doesn’t mean the sellers need to know that too.
“Why are you selling the home?”
There may be some situations where you need to ask questions about the home itself, but this general question is not one of them. Anything you need to know should be disclosed by the sellers and asking personal questions may get you into a sticky situation if the sellers’ reasons include a death, negative financial situation or divorce.
“Could you tell me about the neighbors?”
Chances are good that if the sellers have lived in the home for any amount of time, then they know their neighbors well. It may be tempting to ask questions that border on gossip about your potential new neighbors, but unless you want to be known as the new nosy neighbor, it’s best to keep those questions to yourself.
“I’m going to lowball my offer.”
Advertising that you’re going to make a lowball offer may offend the sellers and make them less willing to negotiate with you. You and your realtor may decide to offer a low amount, but you can do this tactfully without creating any ill will.
“But Zillow says your home is only worth X.”
Zillow and other online appraisal sites can often be tens of thousands of dollars out of line. If the seller is working with an experienced realtor, their list price should be fairly accurate. If not, your realtor should be able to discuss the topic with the seller in a non-offensive way.
“What is your financial situation? Religion?”
You may be curious to know everything about the seller but this line of questioning can seem discriminatory and certainly doesn’t concern you. Keep the personal questions out of the negotiations and just stick with the facts.